Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Letters from my Mom

Recently I went through the letters that my mom wrote to me while I was away at school. My mom and I were very close, even though I have to admit that I sometimes treated her horribly during my teenage years. But you couldn't tell from those letters. She wrote about the good times she remembered before I left for school and how much she missed me. I could almost hear her voice while going through these letters.

There are many more letters that I received from my mom over the years, but these ones touched me in a very special way. In simple words she mentioned what we had done together, our little quirky gestures and sayings that only both of us understood and were like a secret bond between us. I had almost forgotten some of these and it was heartwarming to be reminded of them again.

My mom passed away three years ago. There aren't many letters left from the last 15 years of her life because we had talked more on the phone. After my daughter was born I had no time for writing letters, and I also tried for Kaefer to see her grandparents as often as possible. That became very difficult when we moved to the States and always involved long, exhausting flights with ridiculously long waits in airports.

I feel so blessed to have these letters that were written as a loving mom to her youngest daughter. Eventually they will be passed along to Kaefer when she will be grown up and can understand the treasure of these written words. Handwritten letters to and from loved ones are so powerful and even more treasured in our computerized age.

I copied three of the letters and created a little collage with a photo of my mom that was taken in the sixties. I haven't worked much on canvas, so this was still pretty new to me. How much did I love to play around with gel medium, crumple up paper and mess around with distress ink (one of my favorite "toys"). The copied letters fit exactly into the glass tubes that I sealed with dried poppy seed heads sprayed with glimmer mist. My mom loved the fields in Germany that were colorfully spotted with thousands of red poppies.

The collage will get a special spot in my work room where it will always remind me of the power of my mother's love.


April 2011: I'm linking this to this week's Inpiration Avenue challenge, "Mother".


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26 comments:

Linda R said...

Your post is beautiful. I lost my Mom in 2003 and it feels like yesterday. We were very close and I had just lost my best friend 2 years before so it was especially painful to lose the only other best friend I had. Mother's are special and we all wish we had been better daughters - but they only remember our love and are now home wondering why we are so sad. Thank you for sharing and I think it is very brave of you to express it all on these pieces for your studio. May you live in the light of her. {hug} http://www.designsbylindar.blogspot.com

Carrie Schmitt said...

I am so inspired by your artwork in honor of your mother. I love this and want to make something to my mother. Thanks for the inspiration. And what a beautiful photo on your blog banner. Stunning. Where is this? I'm about to be your follower as soon as I send this!

Curlie Girlie Art said...

Your post was so beautiful - the first one that made me cry! I love your photo - I have lost my grandmother, brother and father all in the past 5 years. I have help on to letters, clothes, photos and other of their items just waiting to put something together for each of them - this is very inspiring and so precious.
Nice job - PS your blog looks great.
Your fellow flyer - Dayle (curlie girlie art)

Curlie Girlie Art said...

Your post was so beautiful - the first one that made me cry! I love your photo - I have lost my grandmother, brother and father all in the past 5 years. I have help on to letters, clothes, photos and other of their items just waiting to put something together for each of them - this is very inspiring and so precious.
Nice job - PS your blog looks great.
Your fellow flyer - Dayle (curlie girlie art)

jacqueline said...

Dearest Carola, this is my first time visiting and i am loving your space here! Very inspiring. I LOVE this most and it made me a little misty! Thank you so much for sharing your story and your mama letters! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to yoU!

Ronnie14 said...

Carola.....I am working on a collage of my mom too. She also passed 3yrs ago, and my dad, 8 mos. before her. No one can relate till it happens to them. There's not a day that goes by that they don't come to my mind. I like your collage. The Poppy seeds are a great idea.

kelly@thebluemuse said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother...and yes, keep it close by and she will be there with you.

Katrin said...

Das ist wunderschoen, Carola! Wie toll, dass du deine Kunst gefunden hast - und das Andenken an deine Mutter! XXOO Katrin

Carola Bartz said...

"we all wish we had been better daughters" this is so well said! This is exactly what I feel. Thank you for your words, Linda. It is hard to lose your best friend and your mom in such a short period of time. I send you a hug!

Carola Bartz said...

I haven't figured out yet how to reply to each comment individually. I just want to let you know how much I appreciate what all of you said. I'm actually tearing up here. I will reply to each of you and visit your blogs. Thank you so much - you made my day!

Elizabeth said...

Lovely tribute to your mom. I was tauched by this post because I lost my mom in Nov 2008. I feel so connected to you. I made a collage with one of her favorite Psalms (23) and words that means what she was for me. I was planning to write a post and show that collage and then I saw yours. So inspiring, Thank you so much. I am so glad I came to your blog at this special time! I am feeling a little overwhelmed because I want to visit an read the blog of each one of the members of our group! At least I found yours!

Concetta said...

Very very beautiful..thank you for sharing such a personal story.

Jodene Shaw said...

This is so beautiful Carola! What a lovely tribute to your mother and a perfect way to begin your blogging! Just lovely.

Grace,
~jodi shaw
www.jodeneshaw.blogspot.com

Valerie Hart said...

Hi Carola! Congrats on your blog and what a lovely, heart-felt tribute to your mother... I agree with you, handwritten letters seem to be rare now, with all of the digital communication. I cherish all of the notes and cards I have received from my Mom over the years. I even save the emails she sends me. So lovely we all connected from Kelly Rae's e-course. Thank you for sharing. Love & blessings, xoxo Valerie

lori diane said...

Lovely post-very heartfelt and dear. You know by starting this blog, you will have a legacy to leave your daughter...all of your thoughts, passions, etc. Thanks for being so real and open...

Carola Bartz said...

Elizabeth, Concetta, Jodi, Valerie and Lori, thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving these wonderful comments. They mean a lot to me. I'm a little bit overwhelmed (in a good way) about the reactions to my post. I feel so blessed to getting in touch with all these amazing women (YOU!!!).

Cindy Adkins said...

This is so moving...oh my gosh, what an amazing piece and meaningful tribute to your mother...it is beautiful...and the story is so touching...thank you so much for sharing it...and for linking it up...
Big Hugs from me,
Cindy

Linda said...

This is so very sweet, Carola...thank you for sharing it with us! Hopped over from Creative Spirit Challenge...

stampdiva said...

Such a special, moving piece of art. Also so beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a personal, moving tribute with us. Lynne M

Creative Grammie said...

This is such an amazingly moving post. For those of us who lost our mothers ,we can truly relate to this tribute of your mother.
TFS & hugs.

Terry said...

such a beautiful tribute to your Mom and a wonderful memory for you. I miss my parents and you know, those little things are the memories that keep us going! Hugs to you!

WrightStuff said...

Such a wonderful tribute Carola and what a thing to treasure forever. There's a lot to be said for the power of the handwritten word.

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

What a beautiful piece to honor your mother- and such a wonderful tribute! I love that you're saving the letter for your daughter- I can see this as a legacy to pass down from mother to daughter throughout the generations that come after you. Beautiful.

priti.lisa said...

You are so lucky to have memories that you can hold in your hand. This post is so beautiful, like a poem.
xox

Heather said...

This is the sweetest tribute... your post brought tears to my eyes....I love my mom so much , i can't imagine life without her...
I love that you used the letters she wrote to you in this piece...in several ways- what a treasure to have them - beautiful post and piece. You have inspired me to write a letter to my mom ( and daughter...)

gemma said...

I love that you included the letters in this collage. Luckily I have a few tangible letters and things my mom left. I may copy them as well and do something like this.
Great inspiration.